In many ways, and for many reasons, cell phones make life so much easier and convenient; that ease and convenience makes us believe that we can use them anytime we want, but those convenient little devices also are a contributing factor in many of the car accidents across the country. Over the past decade, there has been a dramatic uptick in the number of car accidents and the number of individuals that use their cell phones while driving. Coincidence? Not likely. Those short, precious moments that take drivers’ attention away from where it should be focused – on the road – can cost the driver, their passengers, and anyone around them their livelihoods or even their lives.
Consequences of Distracted Driving in Illinois
Cities, counties, and states have tried diligently to spread the message of the dangers of distracted driving via public service announcements on TV, radio, and the curriculum of drivers’ education classes. Being caught by a police officer for texting while driving can result in heavy fines and possible license restrictions, but those are minor consequences when compared with the potential costs associated with having a serious accident.
Personal Injury Litigation Statistics in Illinois
Most victims of car accidents who file personal injury lawsuits settle out of court, at about 62 percent, which is almost 15 percent less than the average for settlements in the state. The median recovery for victims in this area was approximately $33,000, which is about 10 percent less than the state average.
Illinois State Driving Laws
In Illinois, there are laws that address the things that drivers and accident victims must do both before and after a car crash. In rare instances, compensation for car accident damage is managed swiftly and easily between the parties; many times, especially in cases where someone was seriously injured, one or both parties wisely choose to hire experienced attorneys to handle their legal paperwork and negotiations and represent them in court.
- Illinois state law mandates that every driver who has a car registered in this state must have at least $25,000/$50,000 worth of bodily and $20,000 worth of property damage coverage. Any visiting drivers must abide by their own state laws. If any driver is discovered to be driving without sufficient insurance coverage according to state law, they may be ticketed.
- As in many if not all other states, running from an accident (i.e., committing a “hit and run”) is illegal. If you have been involved in an accident, you should always stay at the scene of the accident; if the other driver flees the scene, try to remember their license plate and a description of the vehicle. This is one of the many instances where a mobile phone can come in extremely handy: If you are able, take a picture of the car, driver, scene, and any injuries and damage.
- Because fault for any given accident is not always immediately obvious, sometimes the court or insurance agencies decide; they could declare that each driver was 50 percent at fault or that one was anywhere from zero to 100 percent at fault. This is what is referred to as comparative fault, and it will greatly impact the amount you or the other party may be awarded; it can further impact the amount you take home, as sometimes the amount you were awarded is decreased by the percentage you were deemed to be at fault.
- If you were involved and injured in a car accident, you may be interested to know that you have precisely two years from the date of the crash to file a personal injury claim. Failure to do so within the allotted time frame could mean the difference between having all of your accident-related medical bills paid and having to pay them all yourself, regardless of your level of responsibility for the accident.
Call to Schedule an Appointment Today with a Collinsville Auto Accident Attorney
If you have been involved in a car accident in or around Collinsville, call (844) 307-7349 to schedule your free initial consultation with one of the excellent personal injury attorneys with Walton Telken Foster. Doing so will give you the invaluable opportunity to tell the details of your story and have them give you information about your rights and options at this most important time in your life.